Integrating Simulated Patients in TBL: a Strategy for Success in Medical Education

  • Ashley K. FernandesEmail author
  • Pat Ecklar
  • Kristen Rundell
  • Gail Luster
  • Maureen Cavalcanti
Short Communication



Successful use of team-based learning (TBL) and simulated patients (SP) in medical schools is growing. We hypothesized that integrating SPs into TBL would enhance the traditional TBL.


From 2016 to 2018, we taught fourth-year medical students through an SP-TBL hybrid, utilizing an integrated SP interview. A 9-item evaluation was analyzed (n = 114).

Results and Discussion

Students expressed favorable attitudes toward the SP-TBL hybrid with Likert-scale items (mean 4.26/5). Qualitatively, four positive themes emerged: (1) practice; (2) engagement; (3) SP use; and (4) feedback. Integrating SPs into TBL avoids disadvantages with both traditional TBL and OSCEs. Practice, engagement, and immediate feedback are advantages over traditional TBL.


Ethics education Health communication Medical education Shared decision-making Simulation Team-based learning 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the Institutional IRB.

Informed Consent



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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Biomedical Education and AnatomyThe Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Family Medicine, The Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA

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